GREENWOOD TWP- How to set a policy for public use of the town hall facilities during the time of COVID-19 was a question without an answer at the June 9 Greenwood Town Board meeting.The board had …
GREENWOOD TWP- How to set a policy for public use of the town hall facilities during the time of COVID-19 was a question without an answer at the June 9 Greenwood Town Board meeting.
The board had earlier stated that township facilities were closed to public use, closed the town hall to public use, and had put warning tape around the pavilion area.
But people have still been using the pavilion area.
“They tore down the tape we put up right away,” said Supervisor Byron Beihoffer.
Supervisor Carmen DeLuca told the board that people have also been leaving garbage down at the area, including fish guts and dirty diapers.
Chairman Mike Ralston said the township needs some more concrete direction on what would need to be done to reopen the town hall and allow reservations/rentals at the pavilion.
“There is guidance from the state limiting the size of gatherings,” he said, “but someone will need to clean and sanitize afterwards.”
Board members wondered if such cleaning would need to be done by a professional cleaning service.
“If it’s not done correctly, we will get complaints,” Ralston said.
A representative from the Minnesota Association of Townships who was helping the board run the meeting via teleconference told them there is information on the MAT website. She did not know if the township would need to use a professional cleaning service.
Supervisor Larry Tahija suggested the township get a quote from Servicemaster, and then could add the expense onto the rental fee and/or deposit. He said they should also find out if the regular town hall cleaner could do that work.
The tennis courts, bocce courts, and playground are being used by the public.
“We can put up signs that the pavilion is not open for public use, and to use at your own risk,” said Ralston.
With all the open questions, the town board did not take any action on the issue.
“The short-term answer is the town hall facilities are not open,” Ralston said. “We need to develop a plan.”
In related news, the board heard that over $800 worth of recreation equipment in the skating rink storage building was missing. The missing equipment includes three professional bocce ball sets, a garden wagon, bean bag boards and bean bags, and a propane bug sprayer.
The recreation committee realized the equipment was missing this past month. The equipment was all in storage as of last November. The committee said they know of seven individuals who have keys to the storage shed, and they had contacted all of them but none knew of anyone who had accessed the building over the winter.
“There was no skating this winter so no one should have been in there,” said Ralston.
“We do want to get the equipment replaced,” said Beihoffer, who is also on the recreation committee.
Ralston said the township can file an insurance claim, which would cover some of the replacement cost. The township will also file a report with the county sheriff. All the items had been purchased with private donations and donated to the township.
Ralston said the board needs to look at cutting the budget for 2021, since the residents only approved a levy for $150,000 instead of the $250,000 requested by the town board.
“We need to cut some spending somewhere,” Ralston said. “I haven’t heard back from any of the supervisors.”
Ralston had asked for input from other supervisors at last month’s meeting.
“We still have over $600,000 in funds,” said DeLuca. “We can take some time before we panic.”
Ralston reported that the response rate on the CTC and Paul Bunyan internet surveys was about 20 percent. John Bassing told the board there was another important survey now underway by the regional broadband group, and he urged all township residents to complete it. A link to the survey can be found at www.ramsmn.org under the broadband tab. Bassing said they are hoping to have the surveys completed by the end of June, because some grant money for projects may be available this summer. Paper copies of the survey are also available at the town hall.
Clerk’s office video footage
Clerk Sue Drobac asked the board, again, about what the policy is for viewing the security camera videos.
“Who can view the footage?” she asked. “When and where are they being viewed? Who will keep a log of the viewing? Does the recording repeat over itself?”
Ralston said it would take board approval to get a copy of the video. At this time, the township has no official policy governing these issues.
Ralston said the footage goes onto the township’s website cloud storage. He said the website tech people would have access to it and it is not viewable in real time.
DeLuca said he wasn’t even certain that the recordings were actually being saved at this time. The last he had heard, there were some technical problems between the video equipment, the township’s internet provider, and the web-based storage system.
In other business, the board:
• Voted to allow Immanuel Lutheran Church to use the parking lot area for a “drive-in” service, where parishioners sit in their cars and listen to the service over a radio broadcast. These services would be held once a month in the summer, unless the church decides to resume in-house worship.
• Denied, on a 4-1 vote, a request to donate a used boat to the township, with the idea the boat would be sold and money donated to the fire department. The town board said they would rather the individual sell the boat themselves and then donate the money.
• Heard the state demographer’s population count for the township, as of April 2019, was 896, with 416 households.
• Heard there had been problems with the two township office computers connecting to each other after a recent software upgrade but the problem was being resolved. Treasurer Pam Rodgers was upset that she was not informed when the upgrade work was being done.
• Will meet with residents on Birch Point Extension to discuss a brushing policy. The township just had the roadway ditches cleared of brush, and some residents were unhappy. The township would like to set up guidelines for the width and height of brushing. They will also discuss snowplowing, and perhaps how often the road needs to be plowed.
• Approved purchasing six no-contact fever thermometers for first responders.